Kumaraswamy-Rahul meeting leaves Karnataka Congress leaders sulking

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Kumaraswamy-Rahul meeting leaves Karnataka Congress leaders sulking

State Congress leaders feel such meetings “eroded the significance” of the co-ordination committee.

The first meeting of a five-member committee constituted for drafting the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress coalition government, will be held on Wednesday.

The committee comprising former Union Minister and chairman of Congress manifesto Committee M. Veerappa Moily, Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar, Minister for Public Works H.D. Revanna and Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur will hold preliminary discussions on drafting the CMP, a member of the panel said. The committee would study the election manifestos of both the Congress and the JD(S) and prepare the draft of the CMP. The coordination committee will approve the draft.

Meanwhile, the new-found bonhomie between Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress president Rahul Gandhi appears to be causing discomfiture among some State Congress leaders, as the former has been directly talking with the party high command on several vital issues bypassing the local leadership.

State budget, farm loans

Several Congress legislators told The Hindu that Mr. Kumarawamy meeting with Mr. Gandhi in Delhi and seeking the latter’s green signal on presentation of a full-fledged State budget and writing-off of farm loans has in a way “eroded the significance” of the co-ordination committee constituted on June 1 for framing the CMP.

A good number of legislators and senior leaders, including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is the chairman of the coordination committee, viewed the Chief Minister dealing with issues directly with Mr. Gandhi as “detrimental” to the State Congress. “What’s the relevance of the coordination panel if the Chief Minister is getting approval from Mr. Gandhi,” asked a senior Congress leader.

The coalition government on Friday last formed the five-member committee to prepare a draft of the CMP within 10 days. The CMP included poll promises made by both the parties, including the farm loan waiver.

Apparently, Mr. Kumaraswamy was irked by a statement made by Mr. Siddaramaiah, who is receiving 12 days of naturopathy treatment, that the Chief Minister would not present a full-fledged budget but a supplementary budget next month. In the earlier instance, when dissidence was at its peak after the Cabinet expansion, Mr. Siddaramaiah left for Badami, his new constituency in north Karnataka.

To clear doubts about his first budget, the Chief Minister met Mr. Gandhi whom he recently described as “punyatma” (good soul) and got his nod for presentation of the budget and cooperation on farm loan waiver.

Earlier too, Congress leaders criticised Mr. Kumaraswamy when he met former Minister M.B. Patil at the latter’s residence when the dissidence leaders challenged the Cabinet expansion. Meanwhile, senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge speaking at function in Bidar on Sunday, said, “the coalition government did not come with joy and it had become necessary to keep the BJP from coming to power.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hindu.)


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